Michael Jordan had numerous legendary games throughout his 15-year-long career, and a lot of them came when it mattered the most. One of those games popularly known as ‘The Shrug Game’ in the 1992 NBA finals against the Portland Trail Blazers led by Clyde Drexler. It was game 3 in Portland, and Jordan went along and broke a few records along the way to a Bulls win. He ended with 35 points and 39 in total for the entire game and the most iconic moment happened when he made that sixth three and shrugged his shoulders in disbelief.
Interestingly enough, Magic Johnson, the commentator for NBC, shared an interesting anecdote of a night before Jordan’s big game. Apparently, Mike wasn’t worried about the series being tied at 1-1 and the Bulls playing two games in Portland. Magic said they played cards until late at night, and when he suggested to Jordan that he should get some rest, it immediately infuriated Jordan. He immediately let Magic know Drexler will not have a standing chance in tomorrow’s game no matter when he goes to bed.
I’m on NBC calling the games. I’m at his house the night before. He called me, and we played cards. We’re playing cards, and it got to be about 1 am in the morning, and the game is the next night. So I said, let me go so you can get some rest. He said no you stay here because I’m gonna tear Clyde Drexler up tomorrow. And he got this look on his face like he wanted to play him right there.
Magic initially didn’t think Jordan would go off in the way he did, but when he started hitting one three after the other, Magic knew he is witnessing something historic. After Jordan made his sixth three, he turned out to Magic did the shrug implying even he wasn’t expecting something like that.
So I’m thinking, okay, maybe he is just said that. We get to the game, and he hits that first three. Then the second three, and the third three. Remember, he is hitting them in a row. He hits six threes. So the last one he hit, he turned and looked at me. It was to me, what did I tell you I was going to do.